California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling

California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling – Unlike Tennessee, where I live, we got to go back to indoor in-person worship a while ago, however, California, still had an in-person Worship Ban. However, that all will soon change. #California

California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling

California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling - Unlike Tennessee, where I live, we got to go back to indoor in-person worship a while ago, however, California, still had an in-person Worship Ban. However, that all will soon change. #California - Demonstrators holding signs demanding their church to reopen, protest during a rally to re-open California and against Stay-At-Home directives on May 1, 2020 in San Diego, California. - Rallies have been held at several state capitols across the country as protesters express their deep frustration with the stay-at-home orders that are meant to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
Demonstrators holding signs demanding their church to reopen, protest during a rally to re-open California and against Stay-At-Home directives on May 1, 2020 in San Diego, California. – Rallies have been held at several state capitols across the country as protesters express their deep frustration with the stay-at-home orders that are meant to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

From the office of Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, a new revised guidelines for indoor worship services will soon come out. This comes after the Supreme Court granted an emergency injection against a public health ban on the practice of singing, chanting and crowd size.

“We will continue to enforce the restrictions the Supreme Court left in place and, after reviewing the decision, we will issue revised guidelines for worship services to continue to protect the lives of Californians,” Daniel Lopez, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement.

South Bay United Pentecostal Church challenged Newsom and California’s total ban on indoor services along with the the singing and chanting. The lawsuits were brought by two churches – South Bay United Pentecostal Church and Harvest Rock Church – although the ruling impacts all houses of worship in the state.

“The State has concluded, for example, that singing indoors poses a heightened risk of transmitting COVID–19. I see no basis in this record for overriding that aspect of the state public health framework. At the same time, the State’s present determination—that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.”

Justice John Roberts

Justice Elena Kagan warned that the decision could end up costing lives.

A 6-3 decision was reached three judges, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan voted against the church while Chief Justice John Robert, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, supported the decision either in whole or in part.

“We are heartened by this order from the United States Supreme Court allowing South Bay to gather for worship this weekend while our case against Governor Newsom continues. Throughout the COVID lockdown, the governor has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for California’s citizens and their deeply and sincerely held religious beliefs, is so-called ‘reopening plan’ is structured on the same discriminatory principles as those of New York’s Governor Cuomo, which were soundly denounced by the Supreme Court in their Thanksgiving Eve decision in Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo.”

Charles LiMandri, special counsel for Thomas More Society, a national public interest law firm that worked with the church on the case

On Sunday, February 7, 2021, several churches like the Pasadena-based Harvest Rock Church praised the Supreme Court ruling but insisted they would still not be limited by the scope of the injunction.

In areas of major outbreaks to 25 percent capacity. Churches in areas with only moderate or minor outbreaks are limited to 50 percent, the Associated Press reported.  

“Fifty percent of worship is singing. We’re going to sing no matter what,” Che Ahn, Harvest Rock’s senior pastor, told KCRA 3.

“Finally, Governor Gavin Newsom’s total ban on worship has come to an end,” said Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver. “A pandemic is no excuse for violating the Constitution. Until today, California imposed the most severe restrictions on places of worship. Not anymore. We will continue to press this case until religious freedom is totally restored.”

“No doubt, California will argue on remand, as it has before, that its prohibitions are merely temporary because vaccinations are underway,” Gorsuch wrote in a concurring opinion journey by Thomas and Alito. “But the State’s ‘temporary’ ban on indoor worship has been in place since August 2020, and applied routinely since March. California no longer asks its movie studios, malls, and manicurists to wait. And one could be forgiven for doubting its asserted timeline. Government actors have been moving the goalposts on pandemic-related sacrifices for months, adopting new benchmarks that always seem to put restoration of liberty just around the corner. As this crisis enters its second year – and hovers over a second Lent, a second Passover, and a second Ramadan – it is too late for the State to defend extreme measures with claims of temporary exigency, if it ever could.” 

Last Spring is when Tennessee and Kentucky lifted their indoor in-person ban, while California, still had theirs. Like 9 months later! (Almost one year!)

Let’s keep all churches in our prayers, especial those with worship bans still in affect. Remember other countries, still have worse bans than us in the US!

Sources:

Does your state or country still ban indoor in-person worship due to the pandemic?

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California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling
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California to revise indoor church guidelines after Supreme Court ruling - Unlike Tennessee, where I live, we got to go back to indoor in-person worship a while ago, however, California, still had an in-person Worship Ban. However, that all will soon change. #California
Steve Patterson
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